Tuesday 21st October 2014

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February 27, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. James Likoudis had an article in The Wanderer which indicated that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin was essentially accomplished by John Paul II in 1984. I think that you concurred with that belief in a previous column. My question is this: Did she not say that if the consecration was accomplished, there would be world peace? I don’t think that any sane person would state that we have had world peace at any time since 1984.
Therefore, the only two conclusions that seem possible are: 1) that the consecration did not take place or 2) that the Virgin is a liar.
We know that the Virgin cannot lie so it seems that conclusion one is most likely. Your thoughts? — W.C.M., via e-mail.
A. Our thought is that there is a conclusion three, namely, that the Blessed Virgin never promised that world peace would immediately follow the consecration of Russia. All she said was that world peace would come about at some time in the future. Here are her words on July 13, 1917: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
There is no indication of when that period of peace will come about.
But the consecration of Russia was not the only condition. Our Lady also mentioned the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays, saying that “if my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”
While many good people have for years taken part in the First Saturday devotion, and continue to do so today, we believe that many more will have to do so in order to bring about the period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima.

Q. As Lent approaches, we again hear that Jesus wasn’t nailed to the cross through the hands, but through the wrists. Although all things are possible with God, I think Mel Gibson had it correct in The Passion of the Christ, wherein Christ was nailed through the hands and was also tied to the cross around the wrists. Through 2,000 years, our crucifixes and paintings have depicted nailing through the hands, not to mention the numerous incidents of the stigmata, e.g., St. Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio, etc. What say you? — G.B., via e-mail.
A. The stigmata have a mystical significance and do not necessarily duplicate the physical location of the five wounds of Christ. This is true, for example, of the wound from the lance, which most authorities place on Jesus’ right side, but which some stigmatists have on the left side. In A Doctor at Calvary, his classic medical account of the Passion and death of Jesus, Dr. Pierre Barbet said:
“The exact localization of these stigmata is not always the same, but it varies throughout the whole extent of the metacarpal zone, as far as being very near to the wrists. We should come to the conclusion that the stigmatists can give us no information either as to the position or the form of the wounds of the Crucifixion” (p. 105).
As evidence of the spiritual significance of the wounds, Barbet cited the words of stigmatist Theresa Neumann, who told one of her friends: “Do not think that Our Savior was nailed in the hands, where I have my stigmata. These marks only have a mystical meaning. Jesus must have been fixed more firmly on the Cross.”
It was Barbet who discovered through experimentation on corpses that a nail placed in the palm of the hand would not support a man’s weight. He found, however, that there was a spot where the palm met the wrist that would take a nail and would support the body of a man. His most startling finding was that when a nail pierced this spot, it partly severed the median nerve, causing unbelievable pain but also causing the thumb to jerk inward against the palm.
This corresponded exactly to the bloodstain on the Shroud of Turin. Not only did the bloody wound appear on the back of the wrist in the pictures of the crucified Man on the Shroud, but the image of the hands, with the palms downward, showed no sign of thumbs.
Crucifixes and paintings done long before Barbet’s book came out in the 1950s did not have the benefit of his scientific research, but many crucifixes produced since that time now show the nails through Jesus’ wrists. By the way, it is not surprising to see ropes around the arms of those portraying Christ in the movies. What actor would agree to be fixed to the cross with nails through his hands and feet?

Q. A friend asked a priest if it was a sin to talk in church, and the priest said no. But isn’t it a sin of disrespect to the Real Presence of Jesus? Sometimes the church sounds like the lobby of a movie theater. — C.R., Pennsylvania.
A. Of course it’s disrespectful to talk loudly in church and to treat the church as if it were a shopping mall. What kind of sin it is depends on the awareness of the persons making all the noise. Many of them are probably oblivious to how disrespectful their behavior is, or perhaps they don’t even recognize the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. You don’t see many of them genuflect, that’s for sure.
It is long past time for priests to call people’s attention to the Person who makes the church a sacred place. We don’t recall reading in the Gospels about talking, laughing, and backslapping on Calvary.

Q. Can you give me a quick and easy explanation for why women cannot be ordained to the priesthood? — S.H., Massachusetts.
A. Basically, there are four reasons:
First, the priest at the altar stands in the person of Jesus, so just as you would not choose a man to play the role of the Blessed Mother, you would not choose a woman to play the role of Christ. Second, Jesus is often referred to as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride. So it would not be appropriate to have a woman as the bridegroom. Third, Jesus did not choose women to be priests though He had many well-qualified women whom He could have chosen, including His own Mother. Fourth, for a sacrament to be valid, there must be the proper matter. One cannot use Pepsi instead of water for Baptism, or beer instead of wine for the Eucharist. So, too, the proper matter for the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a baptized male.
This does not mean that women are inferior to men, anymore than beer is inferior to wine; it simply means that men and women, who are of equal dignity, have different roles in the Church.

Q. More and more cremations are taking place in our Church today. The family makes the arrangements with the funeral director before talking to the priest. Sometimes the ashes are placed in urns or left on china cabinets. Even necklaces and bracelets are made that contain the ashes of the deceased. What is the Church’s teaching on cremation? — M.W., Illinois.
A. The Church allows cremations as long as they are not chosen for reasons contrary to Catholic teaching (cf. canon 1176.3). Such reasons would include hatred of the Catholic Church or denial of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Since 1996, it has been permitted to celebrate a funeral Mass with only the cremated remains present. Prior to then, the body of the deceased had to be present for the Mass, and the cremation would follow. Many people are choosing this option today because it is considerably less expensive than a traditional funeral.
In the Church’s Order of Christian Funerals, it says that cremated remains “should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium (a shallow, sealed, recessed niche for ashes). The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased is not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.”
So leaving the ashes on one’s china cabinet or mantelpiece is prohibited. It is also prohibited, not to mention bizarre, to place the ashes inside a necklace or bracelet. Think of all the good one could do for the deceased by substituting for these practices the celebration of memorial Masses for the departed family member.

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Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

In a third short interview with CWR, conducted by e-mail late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, offers his impression of the Relatio Synodi, comments on reports that the Synod has…Continue Reading

Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote. The three paragraphs, which in the past would…Continue Reading

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading

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Cardinal Burke Confirms: Yes, Pope Has Demoted Me.

“Pope has done a lot of harm by not saying openly what his position is” Synod “designed to change Church’s teaching“ We post here for the record of current events all the quotes published by BuzzFeed from their interview with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke’s Major Interview to Il Foglio on the Synod

The world likes Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke very little or not at all.  And , if it is possible, the Church likes him even less than does the world.  On the other hand, this 66-year-old American from Richland Center, Wisconsin,…Continue Reading

Pope Paul VI to be beatified Oct. 19, 2014

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Pope Francis will officially declare Pope Paul VI Blessed on Sunday, Oct. 19, during the closing ‎Mass of the 3rd Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.  Pope Paul VI was cleared for ‎beatification when Pope Francis on May 9…Continue Reading

Church Militant . . . Synod On The Family

Houston, we have a problem

Angry over voter lawsuit, city demands to pick through sermons, other communications from pastors who aren’t involved Monday, October 13, 2014 HOUSTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”

Yesterday’s presentation of the mid-term report (Relatio post disceptationem) of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family was met with a remarkable level of interest among both Catholic and non-Catholic media outlets. The Vatican Radio site, in its introduction to…Continue Reading

Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake,…Continue Reading

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Minnesota Settles Sex-Abuse Claim

MINNEAPOLIS—The Catholic Church in Minnesota and a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse on Monday announced the settlement in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit claiming that clergy abuse and subsequent inaction by church leadership constituted a “public nuisance.” The settlement also laid…Continue Reading

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Today . . .

Pope To Consistory: We Are Witnessing A Phenomenon Of Terrorism

In Briefing, Fr. Lombardi Says Interventions Reaffirmed That You Cannot Kill in the Name of God Vatican City, October 20, 2014 (Zenit.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Dedicating this morning’s Consistory of Cardinals to the Middle East, and particularly the region’s Christians, Pope Francis has called on the international community to do their part as well as his fellow prelates to protect…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Middle East Without Christians Unthinkable

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis convened a Consistory of Cardinals on Monday morning in the Vatican. Originally scheduled in order to proceed with the causes of candidates for beatification, the Holy Father expanded the agenda of the meeting to include discussion of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. In remarks to the gathered Cardinals at the morning session of the…Continue Reading

At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Heaven In Our Hands

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(Vatican Radio) The Holy Spirit is the “seal” of light with which God has placed Heaven in Christians’ hands. Often, however, Christians avoid this light in preference of a life spent in the shadows, or worse still, in a false light, that sparkles with hypocrisy. Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Friday morning, followed the First Reading from St. Paul who…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Is The Church In The U.S. Unwittingly Helping To Promote The Secularist-Leftist Agenda?

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Our Judicial Dictatorship

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Do the states have the right to outlaw same-sex marriage? Not long ago the question would have been seen as absurd. For every state regarded homosexual acts as crimes. Moreover, the laws prohibiting same-sex marriage had all been enacted democratically, by statewide referenda, like Proposition 8 in California, or by Congress…Continue Reading

The Government And Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This past week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are…Continue Reading

Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University.) + + + Current events in the Middle East have drawn attention to the plight of…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + “Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted; speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). + +…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Being Exposed To Synod’s Deliberations Is Not For The Fainthearted

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out — he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). “Peering into freedom’s ideal law,” as St. James’ letter exhorts and as the fathers of…Continue Reading

Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

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Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: R.H.T. of Florida writes to say that “this week’s question [The Wanderer dated October 16, 2014] about Doctors Without Borders caught my attention. If R.B. from Michigan is interested in supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, but one that is absolutely committed to strict adherence to the Catholic Church’s rules on things like abortion, contraception, etc., I…Continue Reading

Union With The Afflicted

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul commends the Thessalonians for the way they received the Gospel and for the manner in which they lived it out. First he says that they received the Word in great affliction, then he reminds…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anthony Mary Claret has something in common with at least three other saints. Like St. Peter Claver, he was born in northeastern Spain — over 200 years later. Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, when he heard Confessions, he frequently could read the souls of the penitents, asking them about a sin that they had not confessed.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ignatius Of Antioch

By CAROLE BRESLIN Who are the fathers of the Church? They were holy men of God; most were bishops, although some were priests and one man, St. Justin the Martyr, was a layman. They lived primarily in the first three centuries of Christianity, but one of the fathers died in 750, generally considered the end of the Church fathers’ era.…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading